GNU Project, the free software movement by Richard Stallman, turns 33

S Prabhakaran September 27, 2016

It probably started when legendary programmer and software freedom activist Dr. Richard Stallman got upset when he found himself stuck with a Xerox printer, which came with a proprietary program that would not allow him to command his own programming into it.

Ever since, Stallman, often known by his initials ‘RMS’, has been the voice of free software.

On September 27, 1983, he announced the launch of GNU, which was a free software replacement for UNIX.

RMS has described free software as an integral part of a free society. Apart from being considered one of the greatest programmers, he is also known for being outspoken about things he feels strongly about.

He has never missed a chance to take digs at big companies like Apple and Microsoft, which do not give source code of their software.

RMS formalised the GNU project and in 1992 he was successful in implementing GNU with a LINUX (then liberalised) kernel.

He is also the founder of the Free Software Movement and campaigns against proprietary software and patents.

Project GNU turns 33 today, and RMS continues his campaign for the freedom of software.

Watch this video to know how it all started.